What is Product Liability?
Any injury caused by a defective product that is unreasonably dangerous or unsafe may give rise to a claim or cause of action against the company that designed, manufactured, sold, distributed, leased, or even furnished the product. This concept is commonly referred to as Product Liability. Product liability laws are different from any other type of injury law, and the rules are designed to meet the needs of these claims. Generally, the product liability laws require that a product meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer.
Product Liability: Responsible Parties
There are numerous parties that can be held responsible for a product defect, including; the product manufacturer, the manufacturer of the component parts, the party that assembles or installs the product, the wholesaler, or even the retail store that sold the product to the consumer.
However, for product liability to arise, at some point the product must have been sold in the marketplace. Historically, only the original purchaser of a product would be allowed to bring a product liability claim. However, today most states have changed their laws to allow any person who foreseeably could have been injured by a defective product to recover for his or her injuries, as long as the product was sold on the marketplace at some point.
Types of Product Liability Defects
An injured party must prove that the product that caused injury was defective, and that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous. There are three types of defects that might cause injury and give rise to manufacturer or supplier product liability:
Design Defects – these defects are present at the very beginning and suggest that something in the design of the product is inherently unsafe.
Manufacturing Defects – these defects occur during the course of a product’s manufacture or assembly.
Marketing Defects – these defects refer to flaws in the way a product is marketed, such as improper labeling, insufficient instructions, or inadequate safety warnings.
Unavoidably Unsafe Products
Some products simply cannot be made safer without losing their usefulness. For example, an electric saw that is too dull to injure anyone would also be useless for its intended purpose. Although the product itself is unsafe, the benefit to consumers of having such unavoidably unsafe products is mitigated by a strong duty to provide proper warnings and safety systems where appropriate.
Getting Legal Help for a Defective Product Injury
As seen above, there are several types of product liability claims that can be made, and many more parties that could be responsible for that defect. In California, a product liability claim must be filed within two years from the time when the injury is or should have been discovered. Contact the experienced accident and injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz to have your claim evaluated today.